Dominique Wilkins voices his displeasure about LeBron James and his monumental 61 point night.

miami-heat-lebron-james

LeBron James set a career-high and Miami Heat franchise-high by lighting up the Bobcats for 61 points. James ripped apart the Bobcats with an awesome shooting effort knocking down threes, hitting jumpers from all over the court, shredding a defense, which is giving up only 97 a night to opponents on the season, and is holding opponents to ratty 44% shooting on a nightly basis.

Recently 80’s superstar Dominique Wilkins kind of dropped a bomb on LeBrons massive night, stating that he could have scored 40 points under the same conditions. The 54 year old Wilkins seems a little sensitive to me. Granted Wilkins gives rightful credit to LeBron for his

athleticism and skills, but making this statement is pure idiocy, and is only a soiled point to take a shot at one of the NBAs best players.

When Dominique was 39 years old, playing for his 5th team, he was scoring 5.0 ppg. And scored 12+ only 4 times on the year. So, let’s crush that concept of ‘Nique lighting up the Bobcats now at 54, can we? So why is Dominique going off on James’ night of significant explosion?

It kind of seems to me that “Nique is staying strong with his old school roots, that the NBA is a watered down product than it was in the 80’s when he was playing. And in some facets he is right. This generation of players, are given much more freedom to play than in the 80’s when players banged hard and less was called, hand checking was allowed, and teams like the Pistons slammed you repeatedly over and over throughout games.

But for Dominique to make the statement of eras is a stupid opinion. Wilkins was able to score, and he was a big scorer in the day, I had watched him light it up on more than one occasion. But, ‘Nique was not a good shooter. Let’s be completely honest here. For those who want to bang on LeBron not being able to shoot, are you kidding me? Those days are long gone, James can straight shoot the ball.

Ok, no more with that asinine moot point.

Wilkins won a scoring title in his career, and 2 times scored a 57 points in a game, his personal best. But for someone who had no jump shot, he was a 31% shooter from deep, I’m not sold that he would have knocked down the shots LeBron did against the Bobcats.

It does at times seem like many of the 80s guys have some intense resentment against the kids playing today. When you look at numbers, when ‘Nique was playing, there were consistently a handful of guys scoring 25 PPG. Makes you wonder was the defense really that much better then, or were the players really that much more talented?

Of course there were the legends of the era, and they would have been able to more than handle their own in this generation of players, but again, lets be factual. This generation of players are faster, stronger, bigger than the old school guys
from the 80s.

Just like when we grew up watching Bird and Magic, we all knew for a fact that those guys from then were better than most of the great players from the 60s. There was no way Tom Heinsohn could match up with Bird.

You get what I’m saying here?

Seriously, there is no way Kiki Vandeweghe or Dale Ellis was scoring 25 in today’s NBA, they didn’t have the game that is needed for today’s game.

Unfortunately, it seems that Lebron cannot seem to get a break. People want to say he is not great because he didn’t win a title, he then goes and wins 2. Back to back, mind you. Now his 61 point performance is being picked apart.

‘Nique, your time is long gone, you were very good, but you were not even close to being as good as LeBron is.

Written by TonyK of VegasTopDogs.com

What does Carmelo Anthony have to do to win a championship?

CarmeloAnthony

As most sports watchers are well aware of, the upheaval of the New York Knicks and their troubled superstar, Carmelo Anthony.

Anthony has been a great offensive existence on his teams for years. Scoring 25 a night for his career, including 28+ a game in 4 seasons.

When Carmelo came out of Syracuse, I feel that many people felt he was a winner and a leader on the court, who could bring that winning factor to a team, and put them on his back. Now with talks of Phil Jackson returning to the NBA and interviewing with the NY Knicks who knows what to think.

But it is becoming sorely obvious, now, after 10 years in the NBA, he is not quite the leader that many had thought he was going to be. If anything, it seems his value could possibly be on the downside of things. Anthony has shown over time that he can largely be a one dimensional, selfish shooter. Including carrying no leadership to a team. He had a prosperous opportunity to take over the Knicks and demonstrate his leadership abilities when Jason Kidd left in 2012. Instead, the Knicks have been atrocious.

Carmelo has shown, he is not a player to build a team around. Although many people really thought Melo was going to lead the Knicks to the promised land of NBA titles, but as it appears to keep coming out, if Melo is the best player on the team you won’t win anything. Basketball is a team sport, and Anthony I don’t think fully gets that idea. He shoots the ball a lot. Where he has ranked in the top 5 in shots/game over the last several healthy years. He gets 22 shots a night now, which has him at 1st on the season.

How much does he genuinely want to win? That is going to be a huge question mark for him to face. The Knicks would have to make astounding moves to beef up the awful team they have on the court now. And it would have to be with a real leader, and Melo as a scorer. The one true asset the Knicks should try and keep is Tim Hardaway Jr. this kid has talent, and lots of it, and has leadership potential.

When in Denver, George Karl wanted team ball and it didn’t work the best for Melo, so he left. Mike D’Antoni sought ball movement and that didn’t suit his game either, so he had to go. Then the Knicks brought in Amare Stoudamire, but that evidently didn’t work out, they didn’t play well on the court together. It even seems like when Jeremy Lin was getting things going and Lin was becoming an essential piece to a Knicks team that was respectable, he had to go. And even again now, this year, Melo wants to play PF, and Bargnani didn’t fit in anymore either. Melo needs to look in the mirror and see what’s happening before his eyes.

So, in the summer, where would or could be the best spot for him to win? I find that if he is willing to work hard, listen to his coach he could fit nicely in a Bulls uniform. Put him as their scorer, and nothing more to be expected. Even though the offensive-minded Melo doesn’t typically fit the Tom Thibodeau model. In the chance that he does go there, and Melo joins the Bulls, he could potentially have all the shots he wants. The Bulls would still have a defense and rebounding for him, so he could play as their scorer, and put points up, which is what he can do. The Bulls obviously urgently need a scorer, and if Derrick Rose ever comes back, he can be the driving point for Chicago. Melo could benefit of defenses that cannot center on only him and live off of kick-and-shoot openings that Rose could create for him.

I think that Melo has limited market value. His ISO Ball has to get stopped, and he needs to come around and become a new player. He is not the “final piece” to win a championship.

Melo really got crushed this year for being a player that can’t take a team on his back and will them to victories. Anthony is at best a complimentary player on a team with other good players. Anthony knows he can’t win in New York, at this stage. With probably 6-7 more years to play ahead, 4-5 that are quality years, winning should be his number one priority now.

Written By TonyK of VegasTopDogs.com

3 Great Sporting Events On The Menu This Week

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The coming week in the world of sports will feature lots of great college basketball, as the sport prepares to go into overdrive for the next few weeks of March mayhem and insanity.

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina Tar Heels @ Duke Blue Devils (Saturday)

This is an all-time college basketball rivalry, and it’s one in which North Carolina was able to land the first blow, winning in Chapel Hill two short weeks ago. Now, Duke gets to host the rematch in Durham, and the Blue Devils will not want to live in a world where they get swept by the Tar Heels. Duke likes to shoot the three-point shot, but it did not shoot well against North Carolina. This game will be a test of the Blue Devils’ ability to block out the memory of that loss.

NCAA Basketball: Georgetown Hoyas @ Villanova Wildcats (Saturday)

This is a game Georgetown will need to win in order to feel at least somewhat confident about its chances of making the NCAA tournament. Georgetown has lost a lot of games, but the Hoyas have also scored some really impressive wins (VCU, Kansas State, Michigan State). A win over Villanova would make it much harder for the selection committee to leave Georgetown out. Heading into the Big East Tournament, the Hoyas need to make a statement or two – they’ll get a chance here.

NCAA Basketball: Kansas Jayhawks @ West Virginia Mountaineers (Saturday)

This is a big game for West Virginia, a team with even more losses than Georgetown but not as many really big wins. Getting a victory over Kansas – a team that’s currently projected as a number one seed by a lot of publications and analysts – would give West Virginia the very thing it needs more than anything else. If the Mountaineers beat Kansas here, a few victories in the Big 12’s conference tournament might still be able to lift West Virginia into the NCAA tournament.

The Race for the NBA MVP is heating up

lebron-james-thumbs-up-miami

The battle for the leagues best player is seemingly getting underway in a very entertaining manner. It’s really starting to get interesting to say the least. It looks like we are going to see a very close finish between Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder and LeBron James of the Miami Heat. It is turning into a very good battle between them to see who gets the crown of being the leagues “Most Valuable Player.”

I think a lot on this subject matters what your opinions are on what an MVP is and should be. Firstly, I think both players are having great seasons, and both are easily the top 2 contenders hands down. I think that Durant feels he is done playing 2nd fiddle to Lebron. He has had amazing games this season, hanging 54 on Golden State.

Having a massive triple double game against the Sixers. He carried the Thunder when Westbrook was out. Scoring at will, and dominating the league, with media clambering all over the “Durantula.”

Now, if anyone deserves to knock the King from his throne it should be Durant, and if he wins it, I would be open with the decision. Durant leads the Thunder in most categories. With his sleek shot and quick release, his scoring has been beyond enjoyable. And with his speed and his offensive awareness, he has been unbelievably aggressive with his “taking over games” mentality. And teammates gain confidence from having that kind of player on your team. I have felt for years that Westbrook has held Durant back, and with Westbrook being out for awhile, it allowed KD to shine.

Now, on the other side, I also believe that LeBron is sick of hearing Kevin Durant is now the NBAs best player. He has more to prove to fans again this year. Anyone with a competing side, and a professional athlete in particular, would get real provoked with the fact that everyone is saying that “your time has come, you’re not the best in the NBA anymore.” Durant had a strong stretch this season, around 12 games where he was really playing excessively well. But does that mean he is the MVP of the league?

LeBron leads his team in basically every category as well. Which is the meaning of an MVP. Are you the best player not of just your team, but of the entire league? Let’s face facts here, LeBron is the best basketball player in the world in this era, and he has proven it many times over, no matter who dislikes the concept of it. He is a walking stat filler, across the board, each and every night is a potential triple double.

And let’s also take into consideration, LeBron is having a “down year” by many peoples standards. Only scoring 27 and 7 boards and 7 assists a night. Durant gets 4 more shots a night than LeBron, because of LeBrons sharing play, getting the team involved all the time. LeBron getting 21 shots a game, he would be scoring 33 a night, statistically speaking. And with that, Durant is now his equal?

Durant is a big scorer, not a great defender, where as LeBron is the teams best defender, as well as perhaps the leagues best defender. We all know about him being able to legitimately guard every position on the court by now. That’s a pretty ominous component as well.

For seasons upon seasons those who didn’t like LeBron, for whatever their reasons, have bashed and disrespected him for one reason or another. No one can argue that he has continued to silence the haters for some time now. And that makes them even more angry.

James could be among the game’s top players of all time by winning a 5th MVP crown. LeBron would become one of 4 players all time to reach that awe-inspiring mark. We shall see, Durant could win the MVP, but I always feel it should go to the games best player each year. And to me, it’s still LeBron James. Let’s hold off on taking the crown away from the King, just yet.

Written by TonyK of VegasTopDogs.com

Michigan Wolverines making a serious run at the National title

Michigan

After the amazingly first-class season last year, how much was genuinely expected from the Wolverines this year? Coming into the season, they had come off of a heartbreaking loss in the National title game vs Louisville last season, 82-76. Where Luke Hancock was preposterous in his scoring and shooting expertise. But in the end the Wolverines couldn’t handle the Cards and their explosive team.

The Wolverines came in, with pretty concrete expectations throughout all of it. Which is always challenging to deal with as a team. It’s a long season, and a season is far from decided in a 6-7 game span. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Last years success came mostly from the offensive side of the ball, putting in more FGs than any other team in the country last year. And of course, with Trey Burke playing impressively all season long.

Playing in the Big 10, the most challenging conference in the NCAA, with 5 teams ranked in the polls. Michigan coach John Beilein has to get the most out of this team each and every night they take the court. A hot streak put together, they can hands-down surprise folks again, and put them back in the snug drivers seat.

Led by sophomore guard, Nik Stauskas, who has been nothing short of fantastic this year, is knocking down everything he puts up, shooting 44% from behind the arc, scoring 17 a night and getting his teammates the ball, and keeping them involved as well with 4 dimes a night. Last year, he was known for the most part as the spot up shooter, coming off curls and popping up deep jumpers, this year he has greatly improved his ball handling skills and is creating a bit more for himself and his teammates off the dribble. Nik has to get to the next level and become the Wolverines leader on the court, be the man to take a team on his back and lead when the game gets tight.

Become the identity of the team. Much like Trey Burke did last year.

Despite losing 2 players to the first round of the NBA draft, with Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr.,The Wolverines still are a powerful offensive team. Based off of harmonious scoring, even with Stauskas being their leading scorer, its very essential for them to keep the likes of Glenn Robinson and even Caris LeVert involved as well. They need to go on doing the important things like out-rebounding opponents. Which the Wolverines have been good at on the year, keeping opponents off the offensive glass, allowing only 9 a game.

The Wolverines need to become more aggressive to make a serious push in the tournament. They have to take the ball to the paint and get teams in foul trouble. And when teams know most of your shots are coming from outside, they will change up and defend accordingly. They have to break it down and not count upon the outside shots so much.

They have dropped in the polls, and seem to be in free fall from the radar for many. But I think that many folks are overreacting to the losses a bit as well. Hot shooting, and shirking defense is what has hurt the Wolverines of late. Most teams in the NCAA go through stretch where they struggle.

Most, not all, *cough* Syracuse.

The Wolverines may have a “less than amazing” team, but they still have a very good team. They have some issues, as does pretty much every other team, as well. I believe they can work through those, and can make a strong late season push to credibly go deep in the tournament.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can Kyrie Irving be the leader in Cleveland

Kyrie

When Kyrie Irving came out in 2011 from Duke, he only had 11 games behind him, hardly a lot of games, by any regulation. But he still came in highly touted as being an astonishing talented player who had extremely high potential. His rookie season was fantastic, scoring 18.5 a night, finding time to get 5.4 dimes a game, with a team with Lester Hudson (who?) and 35 year old Antawn Jamison as his main go-to options to score the ball. While the Cavs struggled with an awful 21-45 record. But Irving certainly was the best of the rookies that year, winning Rookie of the Year.

Coming in at such a tender age of 18, and being handed “leader of a team” so quickly is evidently not something that most regular folks can really comprehend. He has always had a knack for scoring the ball, and he has had no problems in that facet of his game. but at this point in his career, as a PG in the NBA, he needs to get his team more active. He finally has some legitimate talent around him to score the rock. Keep players involved, get them the ball, open the game up. This is a far contrasting team now than in 2011.

Because of this scoring mind frame that many of the young stars of the league have, there are some nights, where Kyrie looks a bit selfish on the court. And some nights where he looks like he can be the best point guard in the league, when he is dishing 10 assists and winning games with his game control, and nights where he seems overrated, where he is turning the ball over 8 times, not distributing the ball well, and looking solely for his own shot. Expert handicapper TonyK of VegasTopDogs beleives the Cavs are a sleeper team for the second half of the NBA Season.

With the addition of Luol Deng, who can score the ball (18.4/PPG), young upstart, Dion Waiters (14.8/PPG) and 3 year PF, coming into his own Tristan Thompson (12.2/ PPG) he has the talent around him. He has no defense, nor do the Cavs for not moving the team headfirst. In particular with Luol Deng in town, the Cavs are formally ready for better play.

As long as Irving proceeds to develop, and gets his APG up to around 7-8 a game, cut his shots down to maybe 15, let Deng be the scoring option 1, let him get 18-19 shots, they could make a genuine run at the playoffs. Not saying they are a serious playoff challenger by any means, but they could be a 40-45 win team, and make it electric for Cleveland fans, who haven’t had anything to cheer about since LeBron James was dominating.

Kyrie Irving has a very high ceiling at only 21, I see a bright future for him and the Cavs, as long as he stays diligent and learns to trust his teammates. Irving no longer is strained to lead them exclusively, which is a good thing for the Cavs as a whole.

Are we convinced Blake Griffin is going to the next level?

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When we watch highlights and –Sportscenter– there are likely going to be highlights from the LA Clippers power forward, Blake Griffin. Dazzling fans with his ridiculous dunks, and big time power play moves on the court. His athleticism has never been a question. He has always been a very good rebounder, with a career 10.3 avg off the glass, who is fast heading up the court, and he’s very strong. But the question I have had for a long time, which could be answered finally is. How limited he is on offense?

It has appeared for quite some time that most of Griffin’s points come on lightening fast break dunks and alley-oops from the back door screen. And for years he has struggled with an inconsistent jump shot. I mean I have seen some real bricks.

But, there are a lot of things going on in LA. Blake is starting to finally develop a dependable post game. Which was something he seemed to have missed in his game before, lacking what power forwards are typically supposed to have. Griffin has had a lethargic game down low, playing back to the basket. And at times, his ball handling has been awful, where as so bad, the basketball almost looked foreign in his hands. And he still seems to struggle with the ball at times. But Griffin and his inside presence is a vital component to the complete package of the LA Clippers.

Griffin has established himself this year, by being more aggressive. He has picked up the scoring, taking the team on his back, when needed. He is getting to the line more than he did before. Getting more attempts a game than he has in the last 2 years. He has also improved his free throw shooting greatly, now hitting 70% from the charity stripe.

When he was struggling at the line, it makes a player think twice before playing aggressively, but this is the new Blake Griffin, a new player. Who seems to no longer be shook when he needs to score points. He drives to the basket, off the one or two power dribble, and gets to the line with authority. Some can argue who the best power forwards are in the game, and many may feel Griffin is one of them. His numbers certainly are in comparison with the best PFs in the game. He is 3rd in scoring, 5th in rebounding with 10/game, and even 3rd in apg at 3.5, which is excellent.

And with all of it being said and done, the Clips are a real deal team, playing great and making teams shake. They are easily on their way to 50 or more wins, and playoffs again. So Griffin’s numbers are backed up by winning games as well, which makes them that much more sensational. They aren’t empty statistics.

Blake is facing up more and taking his man off the dribble, to the left and to the right. And has improved to get himself a respectable 12-15 foot jumper as well, which keeps defenders off balance. His rookie year he came in and we were all admiring his skills, and enjoyed the power game, But he is elevating his game to another place now.

Blake is demanding the ball more, made sure his team didn’t slip out of contention because of the loss of their court general. At this time now in the season, Blake has become the robust backbone of the Clips, and I think that everyone knows it now. Blake Griffin has lead his team to a winning record even without the best PG in the game. Griffin has a great future, he has reached superstar status. He can now rightfully claim that he has become an all around better player, playing the best ball of his career now. And is quickly climbing the charts as one of the top players in the NBA right now.

They can matchup with anyone, including the high scoring Thunder. I expect nothing but CP3 to keep Griffin involved and keep the Clips rolling. As the new “kings of LA.” As long as Blake continues to play like this, as well as the role players continue to knock down their shots, I can’t see anyone in the West beating the Clips 4 times in 7 games.

Written by TonyK of VegasTopDogs.com

Are the Portland Trailblazers built for a playoff run this season?

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So far, the Portland Trailblazers season has been nothing short of startling as they have shocked many after a very disappointing season last year. Personally, I have been watching the development of the Blazers over the last 4-5 seasons and have seen the talent building and developing on the team since 2009 and especially since the emergence of LaMarcus Aldridge becoming a main factor in the teams offensive scheme. The Trailblazers have been excellent this season, in particular on the offensive side of things, putting up 109 or more a night, on the regular. Even against the better defensive teams like San Antonio and Charlotte, where they have scored easily.

They have a very high talent level on the team, led by LaMarcus Aldridge who is a monster to defend, with his great game and in particular his coercive stye of play. And they also have great back-court play with Damian Lillard and Wesley Matthews who are establishing themselves as arguably one of the best guard combinations in the NBA. between them they get the Blazers 38 pts, 8 rbs, 9 assists and they don’t turn the ball over when they have it. And they are driving to the hole as well as hitting the long ball, hitting 42% on the season so far.

The leadership on the team is markedly built around Aldridge who over the last 4 seasons has continued to become one of the premier power forwards in the NBA. his frame, standing 6-11 and a brawny 250 lbs, he is a load to handle when he gets down low, as well as a respectable 10-12 foot game as well, to pull out other defenders on him. He can easily command a double team most nights, which allows other stars like Matthews and Lillard to get good looks at the rim.

But for a serious playoff run, let’s look at prospective feasible teams they could run into and how they matchup. The West is markedly and obviously the much better of the 2 conferences this season, by vast strides. So with that, They would have a much tougher task to make it to the NBA Finals than the easy front runners from the East, Miami and Indiana, who essentially only have to win against each other, and they should get to the championship.

The Western conference has bottom ended teams in the lower end of their playoff setting currently, that would be top 4 ended teams in the lowly Eastern conference. how does Portland matchup against the top 4 in the West? OKC, the high flying, MVP level play of Kevin Durant makes them exceptionally the favorite in the West of course, but the Blazers match up well against them, they have been able to get up more shots, leading to straight outscoring them and have not turned the ball over vs them either.

San Antonio, the never say never team, that honestly just amazes me with their play, they are a true phenom to me. The Blazers can own them, with their fast style of play against them, because of good shots on the break. The Clippers, the new Los Angeles team for the future is a mainstream love, and they play a highly influential defensive style which could cause of concern for Portland because of the quick hands and big bodies inside the paint.

As history has shown us over the years, a good defense typically wins in the NBA. An NBA champion, plays a gritty “stop your opponent from scoring” game and they have a star player who can score in bunches when need be. As well as having a strong bench, and getting improved depth has been important. They have gotten by so far, because their defense doesn’t have to be outstanding because the offense has been so efficient.

Portland doesn’t have both of these attributes at this point. they are built on offense, and until they strap it down on the other end of the court, they will struggle against the better defensive teams still to become a NBA champion. Once they establish a tighter defense, the sky is truly the limit, because they can match player for player with anyone in the West…yes anyone.

Written by Mike Anthony for VegasTopDogs.com

3 Best Sporting Events To Watch This Week

Klay Thompson

 

The coming week in the world of sports will involve some college basketball games of note, as the sport moves under six weeks until Selection Sunday, which is March 16th.

 

NCAA Basketball: Missouri Tigers @ Ole Miss Rebels (Saturday)

 

This is a game in which the two teams are very much on the bubble and need to get a win of appreciable quality. The thing to realize about the Southeastern Conference – and this is little different from last season – is that there aren’t many chances for good wins. The SEC has Florida, Kentucky, and not much else. Whenever two of the league’s bubble teams meet, losing is not much of an option. Ole Miss will get chances to beat Kentucky and Florida later in the season, so in many ways, the Rebels know that even if they lose here, they can still get season-making wins later on. Missouri doesn’t have that opportunity. The Tigers really need to win here.

 

NCAA Basketball: Florida State Seminoles @ Maryland Terrapins (Saturday)

 

This is another game in which both teams are very much on the bubble. Neither Florida State nor Maryland has done a whole lot within its own conference. Both teams have been much less than inspiring. Florida State has a win over Virginia Commonwealth to point to, but not too much else. Both teams have to get on a four-game winning streak at this point in the season to feel good about their chances of making the field of 68. This is the kind of game in which losing will carry a considerable cost.

 

NBA Basketball: Golden State Warriors @ Phoenix Suns (Saturday)

 

This is a very attractive NBA game. Not many people expected this game to be a big one before the season began, but it has become a big game because the Suns are for real. Phoenix swept the two-game season series from the Indiana Pacers last Thursday in Indianapolis, showing the rest of the NBA that the Suns are as tough as their first 45 games suggested they were. This team isn’t going away, and Golden State will therefore have its work cut out for it against the Western Conference’s biggest surprise other than Portland.

College Hoops Focus

Duke

March Madness 2014 is just around the corner and now that the NCAA and NFL Football season is long gone, the focus of the college world shifts to NCAA Basketball. Last year, the Louisville Cardinals won the national championship and this year, they’re currently ranked as the 14th best team in the nation. The Cardinals will be there when the Big Dance card is released, but if they want to be crowned as kings for the second year in a row, they’ll have to battle a bevy of worthy opponents such as Duke, Syracuse, Arizona among others.

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Another team to keep an eye on – especially if you’re looking for a Cinderella story – is the Wichita State Shockers. Some may point to the undefeated record so far and wonder how an undefeated team can even be spoken of in the same breath as a Cinderella story, but if you take a closer look, you’ll notice that they haven’t beaten a team included in the NCAA Basketball rankings all year long. The Missouri Valley Conference is one of the nation’s weakest and the Shockers have only averaged 74.7 points and 39.8 rebounds per game, so they’re not exactly considered world beaters just yet.

The NCAA Tournament starts on March 18th 2014 with the Conference Tournaments starting on March 3rd. The Cardinals will be there as will the Orange, Blue Devils and Shockers. Will anyone step to the throne and take the crown away from Louisville or will the Cardinals become the first back-to-back NCAA Basketball champions since the Florida Gators in 2006-07. Check out VegasTopDogs.com for all of your college hoops action and to enter in some great March Madness Brackets.